Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez, known by his stage name, Daddy Yankee performed for the third time in Israel, in the last five years, selling out yet another concert at Rishon Lezion’s LivePark on Wednesday night.
The 42-year old superstar in the Reggaeton world is still rapping, singing, performing and producing in 2019, but was certainly more popular earlier in his career. Some who have known him for a long time might say he hit his peak 15 years ago with the hit song, “Gasolina.” A trailblazer, he popularized Reggaeton in North America long before it became universal. His resurgence in the last few years is no mystery. Younger artists like Ozuna, Maluma or J Balvin are now stealing the Reggaeton spotlight with hits that are spreading throughout the world like wildfire. There’s not a corner of the world you can go where you won’t hear one of these artists being played in a bar or club. You could call Daddy Yankee an (OG) or Original Gangsta.
Daddy Yankee thanked the crowd for having him and mentioned two to three times – throughout the 1.5 hour set – that he always feels at home when he’s in Israel. Israel’s substantial Latino community appreciated his presence. Flags from Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Cuba blew with the breeze. The front rows closest to the stage were filled with Latina women who knew every lyric of every song. And showing that he still appeals to a younger generation, a surprisingly large amount of teens danced in the stands.
Daddy Yankee started off his night with his latest and explosive hit, “Con Calma,” which came out this year. The older audience members danced to his hits from the early like Rompe (2005) or Que Tengo Que Hacer (2008). The artist held high energy throughout the performance. He kept the show lively, encouraging fans to engage by filling in song lyrics, taking selfies and putting their hands up (which he asked the Israelis to do in Spanish): “arriba las manos!”
To his credit, the audience did not lose steam even though he played his latest hit first. Its common that artists save their best or most recent work for the end to keep listeners paying attention in anticipation of the song. Despacito serves this purpose, hitting the set list third from the end. Not a body in the room stood still for this song. The outdoor amphitheater was full of people dancing. And on stage, the dancers impressed. Female dancers boasted electric green suits and one with braids down to her bottom fell into a full split front and center. The crowd roared, and reasonably so.
Daddy Yankee hosted a vibrant show and the fact that tickets were bought by hoards of teens goes to show that he’s ever evolving. His voice on stage perfectly matched what fans hear in their headphones. A true artist and professional, the Caribbean-born sensation continues to have a large fan base halfway across the world.
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